Gaming culture can be toxic in many ways. But, excusing homophobia or sexism by saying that is how gamers speak is disgusting. This kind of attitude alienates a lot of people who are passionate about gaming and being a part of the community.
Redditor swaginengi encountered an issue with her boyfriend. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA for thinking my boyfriend gaming talk wasn’t “normal guy talk” and getting in an argument over it so bad I moved out?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My boyfriend and I had moved in together. He’s a gamer but I never joined him for that, I have a desk job now, and by the end of the day I’m sick of sitting at a computer desk grinding away at something!”
“So I first saw him play after we moved in together.”
“And what I heard definitely felt.. bad. He used a lot of really sexist and homophobic insults like saying that other players were bitches, calling stuff gay or the f-slur, making suggestive or aggressive sexist comments if there was a girl in the game.”
“I told him how I felt. And he was trying to say that it was normal guy talk. That this is how guys talk when there aren’t women around.”
“Now, I know what normal guy talk is. Last two places I’ve worked, I’ve been the only woman on the team. And I’d go out with coworkers plenty and we’d all often get drunk enough they didn’t give two sh*ts if they were talking in front of a ‘lady.'”
“Not to mention all the times I went walking around on the shop floor in full PPE including a respirator with my short hair and no makeup, with guys not even realizing I was a chick. And I know that sh*t isn’t normal guy talk.”
OP was really hurt.
“Hell, even when a guy did say some homophobic or sexist cr*p at work to me (I’m a bi woman who dresses pretty masculine at work) a lot of the team would tell whoever said it to shut the f*ck up and get the f*ck out if they were gonna be a b*tch to me.”
“Like even in a room of all guys who like sh*t-talking plenty, being a bigot still didn’t fly. Chill guys just don’t attack people just cause of their gender or sexuality.”
“I told my boyfriend all that, saying I know normal guy talk from work and this ain’t it. And that he wasn’t being ‘a guy’ he was being a bigot.”
“He said it was, that I just didn’t know because guys would be different around me.”
“I asked him ‘what about all the times guys on the shop floor thought I was a dude until I opened my mouth?” And he said he didn’t think that happened.”
“I told him it did and literally all the guys he thought were too ‘rough around the edges’ and total macho douchebags that I have worked with… Were still a sh*t ton more respectful than he was being. And honestly I had more respect for someone who says it like it is… than how he was acting two faced; acting all progressive and nice and soft-spoken around me and dropping slurs left and right with his friends.”
OP’s boyfriend refused to change.
“He said he was way more respectful to me than the guys at work ever were and I told him that he wasn’t and if he didn’t understand that, I was moving out.”
“He got really defensive and I had my friend come by with her truck that night. I’m renting a room in a friends share house now and I’m not sure if the relationship will survive.”
“He’s getting mad at me saying I overreacted majorly. I’m upset also, I’m saying he needs to fix that shit if he wants to repair our relationship.”
“AITA for moving out?”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“NTA. It’s not ‘normal guy talk’ to drop slurs and be sexist. Gross behavior. Good men don’t do this.”
“I’ve been here for too damn long to forget to start with the judgement. Thanks for letting me know, pals!” ~ Sandmint
“Yeah I totally agree. Like the only time my coworkers who are pretty chill guys used slurs like that was like .. affectionately? Like in a context where it was super clear it was something they liked or accepted about me instead of an insult.” ~ swaginengi
“Seriously, good on you for standing up for yourself. Obviously NTA. Looks like it’s time to move on, he’s only respectful when it’s convenient for him. He’s shown you who he is.” ~ soylamulatta
“The issue is that your BF may THINK it is normal guy talk because all the guys around him are the same. That is not good.”
“And yeah, guys can struggle with showing emotion so do the ‘friendly insult’ route so they don’t come across as mushy but there is A Big Difference.” ~ FuyoBC
“I call BS on him thinking it’s normal. If he actually thought it was ‘normal’ he would have had no problem using this language out in public or in front of others before this.”
“He knows it’s bullshit and he’s using ‘guy talk’ as an excuse and to gaslight OP.”
“Edit: also, he’s literally one of the dudes that makes online gaming feel unsafe for women.”
“Even if it was ‘just talk’ it’s not just talk to the girls that he is verbally harassing in the game. Those are actual people that he is saying this stuff to. Not feeling-less bots on the other end of the mic. Your bf is literally one of the people that ruins gaming as a hobby for thousands of women.”
“As a woman that games daily, that is 100% and red flag and dealbreaker to me. I hope it is for OP too.” ~ SassySavcy
Slurs are never okay.
“Yeah. Like if he said half the sh*t he said gaming, in front of my friends, he’d be getting his a** kicked.”
“And if he said anything like that at work, he’d be out of a job. So I know he knows that shit isn’t normal or socially acceptable.” ~ swaginengi
“Yep. Been with my husband for 16 years. He spent 8 years in the USMC. He does not ever talk like that, not even when he is gaming.”
“My last job, I was one of a dozen women in my position among over 300 men with the same job title. They knew that shit didn’t fly with me. They also knew that it didn’t fly with my husband either, who was also a co-worker.” ~ ConsciousExcitement9
“Ever since I ever started gaming id play as a male character. It’s safer that way. In turn I actually have seen instances of men playing female characters just so they can get free shit from gullible male players.”
“That makes them even madder at us because they think they’re the real women. There are so so many of us masquerading as men that it makes it very easy for the mysoginistic kinds to reinforce their stereotypes that women don’t play games and when they do its to ‘manipulate them’ rather than play the game (even tho its your own fault for showering any attractive person w lots of gifts bc muh penis)” ~ Tablesafety
People shared their gaming experiences.
“It strikes me as something people who were kids when they started gaming in the era of online multiplayer, and never even tried to unlearn their toxic behavior.”
“I played multiplayer online for about a decade because the slurs were everywhere. Only recently in the last few years am I back due to good gaming friends I’ve made IRL.” ~ ItsTtreasonThen
“I feel this. My buddy found old videos of us playing together in high school and l dropped some f slurs. So f*cking embarrassing. But I grew up and learned and don’t anymore. This guy has no excuse.” ~ deilan
“I’ve noticed in general there’s been a move towards being more respectful while gaming in general and it totally depends on the game.”
“The ‘No Man’s Sky’ community is the nicest I’ve ever seen! I’m still in disbelief.”
“I plugged in a mic for the first time for Halo because I was in a good session and the guys I was on team with were talking. No one would reply to me though, so finally I asked if my mic was working and one guy replied ‘it’s your voice’ ugh yeah learned that lesson.” ~ GrowCrows
“As a girl gamer, there is definitely a subculture of guys like your BF in the gaming world. I wouldn’t call them anywhere near the majority, but there is enough of them that many girls just don’t participate in voice chats to avoid the potential harassment.”
“He is literally what is wrong with online gaming culture and he should be ashamed of himself.”
“Also I want to point out that he claims guys won’t talk like that around you but he literally does talk like that to women he runs into online so clearly a girl being there doesn’t magically change his talk to something more polite. He just knows there are no consequences online. He thought there would be no consequences to you hearing it as well.”
“Dump him. If it takes literal consequences to him personally to stop him from being an AH rather than a shred of empathy for the other humans around him then he is a shitty person deep down.” ~ TheSleepingVoid
His misogyny and homophobia is not “normal guy talk.”